Critical curves and surfaces for euclidean reconstruction

Fredrik Kahl, Richard Hartley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPaper in conference proceedingpeer-review

5 Citations (SciVal)


The problem of recovering scene structure and camera motion from images has a number of inherent ambiguities. In this paper, configurations of points and cameras are analyzed for which the image points alone are insufficient to recover the scene geometry uniquely. Such configurations are said to be critical. For two views, it is well-known that a configuration is critical only if the two camera centres and all points lie on a ruled quadric. However, this is only a necessary condition. We give a complete characterization of the critical surfaces for two calibrated cameras and any number of points. Both algebraic and geometric characterizations of such surfaces are given. The existence of critical sets for n-view projective reconstruction has recently been reported in the literature. We show that there are critical sets for n-view Euclidean reconstruction as well. For example, it is shown that for any placement of three calibrated cameras, there always exists a critical set consisting of any number of points on a fourth-degree curve.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputer Vision - ECCV 2002, PT II
ISBN (Print)3-540-43744-4
Publication statusPublished - 2002
EventComputer Vision - ECCV 2002. 7th European Conference on Computer Vision. - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 2002 May 282002 May 31

Publication series

ISSN (Print)1611-3349
ISSN (Electronic)0302-9743


ConferenceComputer Vision - ECCV 2002. 7th European Conference on Computer Vision.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Mathematics


  • Euclidean reconstruction
  • critical surfaces
  • critical curves
  • scene structure
  • fourth-degree curve
  • n-view projective reconstruction
  • calibrated cameras
  • scene geometry
  • camera motion


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